BagBowl by Kevin Fleming turns a Bag into a Bowl

BagBowl

The BagBowl is a product that turns any plastic bag into a bowl. Every once in a while, there are businesses that jump into the Shark Tank that are hard to track down, and this is one of them. I haven't had such an elusive business or entrepreneur since Mark Sullivan was on the show with his Sullivan Generator.

Where is BagBowl?

The domain BagBowl.com is “parked,” meaning someone owns the domain name, but they aren't pointing it to a website. BagBowl was a participant in the WalMart “Get on the Shelf” contest which season three Shark Tank entrepreneur Jared Joyce also participated in. Curiously, the BagBowl video on the Get on the Shelf website has been marked “private” and is unable to be viewed. The BagBowl Facebook page was created on May 21, 2012 and is pretty bare- just a few photos, and that's it. After a little more poking around online, I discovered Instabol, LLC which seems to be the same thing as BagBowl. The registered inventor on the patent application is Kevin Fleming, he's also the founder of Instabol, LLC. It took me about an hour to find all this stuff, which raises a few more questions about how BagBowl fares in the Shark Tank. Most entrepreneurs who appear on Shark Tank shout about it from the proverbial rooftop. BagBowl or Instabol or whatever it's called is doing the exact opposite. Update: BagBowl launched a new website under buybagbowl.com and has instabol.com redirecting to the same site.

 What is BagBowl?

BagBowl is essentially a reusable, collapsible, plastic sleeve that, as the Instabol website proclaims, “gives structure to a plastic zipper bag.” The Instabol press page claims it was first invented to make toting dog food and extra bowls around a little more convenient. I can see the convenience of this item for camping, picnics, pets, and anywhere there are kids and snacks. It beats lugging Tupperware around! A picture is truly worth a thousand words for this item, the photo at the top of this page should be enough explanation for what it does.

Will the Sharks be Bowled over?

This is one of those products that's just kooky enough and useful enough to be successful. It's inexpensive at only $3.99 for a two pack; the BagBowl can be reused over and over again. Fleming imports them from China, so it probably costs pennies per unit. The question for the Sharks won't be about valuation; it doesn't appear to be selling like hot cakes (or even Daisy Cakes for that matter). The Sharks will have to believe in the product and Mr. Fleming for BagBowl to have a chance.

The business with the two different names and web presences makes me think maybe one of the Sharks buys them out of the entire business (hence the name change). This is Lori Greiner's first appearance in the Shark Tank this season and if she likes the idea, maybe she bites. The BagBowl has that “As Seen on TV” feel to it and if Lori thinks it will sell, she may write a check on the spot. The other side of the coin tells me the fractious web presence is an indication of a business without a clear plan. They may be re-branding to bolster poor sales.

Whatever happens with BagBowl, we'll know for sure Friday night on Shark Tank!

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.

Comments

  1. I definitely would like to buy a set of BagBowls. I need help filling plastic bags.

  2. I love the Bag Bowl concept and think that I and my friends and family would use them at home and at work for easy snacking on our foods without having to pack and wash plastic ware. I just went on Amazon and ordered a set.

  3. I do a lot of freezing of produce from our garden, sauces, broths, etc. I would definitely buy BagBowl, Instabol, or whatever they’re calling it to hold bags for me to pack for the freezer!

  4. Jodi fenimre says

    I saw you guys last night On shark Tank. I see you struck out but don’t give up because it’s a great concept And a fabulous idea! I would definitely buy them if I saw them in the store. Good luck to you guys

  5. I would go straight to Ziplock and see if you could do business together!

  6. Mary Ellen says

    As soon as he started talking – I said I WANT THAT! I love the whole leftovers idea – and I hate all the plasticware in my cupboards.

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